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How Alumni Associations role can help develop education in Nigeria

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How Alumni Associations role can help develop education in Nigeria

A guest lecturer at reunion of Old Students Association of Idah Secondary Commercial College Class ’87 Comrade Emeje Ogu Sunday has advocated for alumni activties to be made more visible in secondary schools just as vibrant as it is in the universities.
Sunday was speaking against the backdrop of dwindling fortunes of public schools occasioned by lack of commitment on the part of leaders to the educational development of the country.
According to him, “Although alumni activities are more vibrant in universities, it just means that there are many lessons for secondary school alumni associations to learn from.
“Alumni associations help their Alma mater by alleviating its financial burdens through donations.”
He explained that In Nigeria where the government will continue to find it increasingly difficult to meet up with its responsibilities, alumni associations should play a vital role in providing assistance to these institutions.
“An Alumni perspective is important on the board of school management because an alumni manager has a good understanding of and a sense of belonging to the school.
“Alumni members are in a good position to offer advice on the relevance of the curriculum to the demand of the professional workplace.”
Continuing he said Alumni associations can contribute their knowledge in their specialized areas of expertise and experience necessary for the improvement of management processes and outcomes.
“In the UK, efforts to raise pupils’ aspirations have encouraged the recruitment of old boys and girls as volunteer role models to whom current pupils can relate.
“For instance, at London Academy, Edgeware (a British Secondary school), the “Future First” charity (earlier referred to) is helping the school formalize its efforts to develop an alumni network designed in its first phase to use former students as career role models.”

Sunday said the lesson is that students gain from talking to and exchanging ideas with alumni and form that also help them to develop valuable networking skills.
“The point here is that successful alumni can be very influential role models to current students of their Alma mater because of the bond they share as former students, and having gone through similar challenges that current students may be facing.
“Years of knowledge and life experiences that alumni have gained professionally and personally shared with students could make a pivotal difference in their lives.”
Hence he observed that Alumni could therefore be a source of vital career and character guidance and also help to transmit the essence of school spirit, culture and beliefs from one generation of students to the next.

He said, “In addressing the decay in our education system, we should draw resources from alumni associations. In doing so, the critical areas in our education system will be impacted positively.
“The way things stand in our country today, the support of alumni associations is critical to the conceptualization as well as effective implementation of education reforms.”

He also observed that alumni associations represent a significant and vocal constituency in the education sector adding that they are well-known sources of strength to the younger generations, as well as strong and powerful voice which could exercise a considerable amount of influence on the policy direction of education reforms in Nigeria.
He pointed out that they can help to provide the funding.
He challenged the gathering to begin to look at those critical areas where their roles can play huge impacts.
“Some areas are schools infrastructures and quality of teachers, which have suffered the most. If we must secure the future, we must stand our ground to defend the integrity of the learning spaces.
“We must collectively facilitate and intervene to ensure development and progress in the reformation of the education sector. Our interventions can come collectively or separately.”
Paul Amade Emmanuel, the convener of the Reunion while highlighting the activities of the set thus far and the idea behind the reunion lamented on the devastating structures around the school and encouraged the old students to do more so as to revive the institution to a befitting standard where their own children will be proud to attend.
According to him they should never forget that there is great reward in giving back to the system that in a way impacted their lives.
“Basic learning tools such as Library, computers, and books can be provided by alumni associations.
As members of alumni associations, your wealth of experience should be an addition to the system you once learned under.
“We cannot afford to fail in our role and responsibilities. We have so much we can give back to our institutions. Our progress in Nigeria is tied to the gains we can get from our education system.
“If we do nothing, the rot will continue and may haunt us all in future.”

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Hope for Universities reopening rises as ASUU/FG align towards agreement 

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Hope for Universities reopening rises as ASUU/FG align towards agreement

The impasse between the academic staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government may be gradually coming to fruitful end as Friday meeting offered some hope for reopening of the Ivory towers soon.

This was as Government has agreed to make some concessions to university lecturers (ASUU).
The Government offered N65 billion to Nigerian universities to address some of the lecturers’ demands.
The government also agreed to pay the lecturers their outstanding salaries using an older payment platform, GIFMIS, different from the controversial IPPIS.
The N65 billion is meant to address the issue of earned allowances and ”revitalisation of universities”.
The minister of labour, Chris Ngige, who gave a breakdown of the N65 billion after a meeting between both parties,
said the Accountant General of the Federation has offered to release N40 billion “or in the alternative, N35 billion to be shared by all the registered trade unions in the universities after providing necessary evidence of having earned the allowance.”
“The FG reiterated that her offer of N40 billion or N35 billion, whichever is accepted by ASUU, was for all the universities’ unions.
ASUU had proposed that N40 billion be paid immediately for all unions,” he said.

According to the minister, both parties held fruitful discussions and “government moved from their initial N20 billion for revitalization fund and 30 billion is now for earned allowances in the university system.”
“We have moved and brought on the table N15 extra billion and by that, a proposal in one basket for N25 billion Revitalization and N40 billion Earned Allowances for all the unions in the universities,” he said.
“While the second basket offer is the issue of revitalization getting N30 billion and Earned Allowances getting N35 billion. So the offer has been made, it is in this document and ASUU is supposed to come back to the government with acceptance on either or one of the offers,” he said.
He said the government has shifted its position as demanded by ASUU on the funds for the revitalization of public universities and the earned academic allowances; as well as on the payment of outstanding salary arrears.

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Buhari makes good his promise to enhance teaching profession, inaugurates committee

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Buhari makes good his promise to enhance teaching profession, inaugurates committee

President Muhammadu Buhari has made good his promise to better the lives of teachers as his administration has inaugurated a national implementation committee on the revitalisation and repositioning of the teaching profession in the country.
The President had, in commemoration of the World Teachers Day on October 5, approved a special salary scale for teachers in basic and secondary schools. He also extended teachers’ retirement age to 65 years and the duration of service from 35 to 40 years and approved payment of an allowance for rural posting and science teachers.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who performed the ceremony in Abuja, Thursday said the neglect of teachers in the country had resulted in brain drain, poor incentives, and poor quality graduates.
According to Adamu, President Buhari recognises the role of the teacher as a major enabler of the nation’s development.
“It was, therefore, with this clear understanding of the role of the teacher in the emerging knowledge economy and the need to attract and retain the best brains in our educational institution that the President approved a range of incentives to revitalize and reposition the teaching profession”, he said.
Adamu listed other incentives as “Enhanced entry point for teachers in the civil service; restriction of entry into the teaching profession to only highly gifted, academically outstanding students/scholars with the right attitudinal and emotional disposition; special teacher pension scheme to enable the teaching profession to retain its experienced talents and creation of a career path policy for the teaching profession in Nigeria.

He explained that the approval of the incentives followed extensive review and consultation with critical stakeholders, assured teachers in the country that the ministry would provide the necessary support to ensure smooth implementation of the policies.
“In this regard, we shall be presenting a memorandum at the next national council meeting holding before the end of the year on establishment-related issues derived from the policy directives.
“We are also interfacing with the office of the attorney general of the federation for the re-introduction of the bill that was passed by the 8th National Assembly which was not assented to by the president for legislative action by the 9th assembly”, the minister said.
He charged the committee on the need to reverse years of neglect of teachers and begin the process of revamping the nation’s educational system to be responsive to the 21st-century demands.

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How COVID-19 has spurred digital transformation strategies by Pantami

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How COVID-19 has spurred digital transformation strategies by Pantami

By Deborah Musa

The minister of communication and digital economy Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has harped on importance of a well developed data and communication to cope with post covid-19 challenges.

Pantami who was represented by Engineer Aliu Azeez in his good will message at national summit induction & investiture of the Institute of information management held in Abuja over the weekend indicated that covid-19 pandemic has spurred the need for rapid acceleration and implementation of digital transformation plans.

Such plans he said should be aimed at delivery of new services, achieving greater efficiencies, building resilience and helping the society recover quickly from the economic, social and health downturns experienced in the past months.

He noted that, The world is at a threshold of history where data is now the new air.
He said access to reliable and accurate data can help people navigate and tackle the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic to be able to plan for the future.

Pantami emphasized the importance of having skilled professionals in terms of actual skills and not just in terms of theory and paper qualifications.

“The future that emerges after COVID will be different and that is already evident in the way we live, work and conduct business.
“We are counting on the institute to increase its drive towards education (in terms of actual skills and not paper qualification), technological research, and trainings to promote data and information management in line with evolving expectations in the new and changing environments we find ourselves”

The minister of communication and digital economy also explained on how his office is working round the clock to drive digital transformation in Nigeria.

“I am also delighted that this summit is taking place at a time our Administration is working round the clock to drive digital transformation of Nigeria; introducing e -government solutions in the conduct of government business, and leverage digital identity as a key enabler of progress toward many sustainable development goals and full participation in the global digital economy.

“Just yesterday I commissioned the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. While robotics facilitate A.I., the A.I. is the actual refinery and engineroom of our new digital economy”.

The Institute of information management held its national summit induction & investiture while at the same time marking one decade of promoting excellence in data and information management across the globe

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